I have had this tattoo for 20 years and I have...
I have had this tattoo for 20 years and I have hated it for the last 15. I have not thought about removing it before, instead I always wore long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves. Now with the new picosure laser I thought I would give it a try because it is supposed to take less treatments with less collateral damage so I drove from Berkeley to Sacramento to get my first procedure. It was not as painful as I thought it was going to be but maybe I just have a higher tolerance. I am going to wait 3 months for my next treatment to get the most out of my first treatment as I figure I have lived with it this long, I may as well not spend as little as possible to get it removed.
Unexpected side effect
I read all about the side effects of tattoo removal, like blisters, hypo and hyperpigmentation, and what not but one side effect that I was not prepared for was the swelling. My arm felt heavy and was twice as large as my other arm. I looked like I had a huge bicep. Its been 5 days and the swelling has mostly gone down but there is still a little bit. Its minor and does not hurt but I had not read about it from anyone else.
It has been 18 days since my first treatment and I can't say I notice a huge difference. It does seem like there are patchy areas that have less ink, but it is difficult to get a decent photo that would show this. I will try to post a photo at the 2 month mark.
Dec 15, approximately 4.5 months since first treatment
total number of treatments = 2
Going for a third next week.
Going for a third next week.
3rd treatment 12/19/2013
So I got my third treatment yesterday and it was far more painful than the previous two. I really like the laser nurse, Heidi but I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of Dr Tanghetti. I asked Heidi why there was dark areas around the tattoo, like the ink was just under the skin not being absorbed. She went to get the Dr. to ask him and he said that it is from the tattoo and for her to laser that area also. He also said that there are a lot of toxic metals in tattoo ink and its completely unregulated. And was sort of cold and cavalier about it. I asked how dangerous it is to have this in your body and if it was better to leave it or remove it. He said that its best not to get it in the first place. Well, fucking sure. That would have been great, but that is obviously not an option now because its already on my arm. I felt like he was sort of saying to me, well, if you were stupid enough to get it, deal with the consequences. Sure, I wish I didn't but I was 18 and I am absolutely 100% sure that not one person on earth can say they never regret a decision they made. Ugh. I will conclude this by saying that I went to 4 different consults all around the Bay Area and find it extremely interesting that not one single physician brought this topic up. I even remember asking one if it was hard on the immune system to clean up these inks because I was certain that there could be things in them harmful to the body. I recall she said, that that is what the immune system and lymph nodes are supposed to do and they do a good job at it.
Photos of third treatment (2 days after)
This treatment was stronger than the last two and there is considerably more bruising and blisters.
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